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Munch Is Back! Richard Belzer Is Returning to ‘Law & Order: SVU’ to Reprise Fan-Favorite Role

Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch
Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch

Some cops just can’t stay resigned! Richard Belzer, who played John Munch on Law & Order: SVU until his season 15 departure, is returning to the long-running NBC procedural for an upcoming season 17 episode, Us Weekly has confirmed.

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Belzer will guest star in a May episode, which focuses on a young model claiming she was the victim of a fashion photographer.

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Munch handed in his resignation papers in a season 15 episode that aired in October 2013, and went on to become a mostly unseen special investigator with the district attorney’s office. (The conspiracy theories appeared in a 2014 season 15 episode to help bail Detective Nick Amaro out of jail.) Belzer originated the character on NBC’s cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street more than two decades ago, and remained with the show until it signed off in 1999 after seven seasons.

Richard Belzer as Det. John Munch and Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law and Order: SVU.
Belzer as Munch and Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe on ‘Law and Order: SVU.’

Munch started appearing on SVU in its September 1999 premiere. The character has also appeared on the now-canceled flagship Law & Order series, the short-lived Law & Order: Trial by Jury and HBO’s The Wire. He even popped up in a 1997 episode of The X-Files.

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SVU was renewed earlier this year for an 18th season. Shortly after the renewal, showrunner Warren Leight told The Hollywood Reporter that, had season 17’s last episode been the series finale, he would have made an effort to bring back such beloved characters as Munch and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). Stabler’s final episode was the season 12 finale.

Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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